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Jewish Journal

Ryan Torok

  • IDEAS and ideals spell innovation for Israel

    6 days ago

    In some ways, the secret to good movie-making remains as simple as ever, according to Steve Tisch, the Oscar-winning producer of “Forrest Gump.” “People want to see movies that move them, entertain them,” he said. “They want to laugh.” 

    Tisch, a philanthropist who donated $10...

  • Rabbi’s car set on fire outside Chabad synagogue

    6 days ago

    Security cameras at Chabad of Mt. Olympus show two individuals vandalizing a Hyundai Sonata belonging to Rabbi Sholom Rodal, the Chabad’s rabbi, at 2 a.m. on the morning of June 24, according to Rodal as well as a police official.

    The two were caught on camera setting the car on...

  • Moving and shaking: ‘Mad Men’ Day, Jewish World Watch and more

    1 week ago

    The City of Los Angeles declared June 17 “ ‘Mad Men’ Day” and honored the popular television show’s creator, Matt Weiner, during a ceremony at City Hall.

    City Councilmember Paul Krekorian, whose office led the proceedings, welcomed Weiner and more than 20 members of the show’s...

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  • ADL to introduce graphic novel about tragedy in Tel Aviv bar

    2 weeks ago

    American filmmaker and freelance journalist Jack Baxter got more than he bargained for when he set out in 2003 to make a film about Mike’s Place, the famous live music bar in Tel Aviv. He was one month into shooting a documentary about the bar and the people who run it when a...

  • Moving and shaking: Ordination, graduation, The Learned Hand Award and more

    2 weeks ago

    Local seminaries were in full ordination and graduation mode last month, celebrating a combined total of 30 new rabbis among them.

    For the Reform movement’s Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles, this year’s ordination...

  • Hebrew spoken by a rainbow of Young L.A. voices

    2 weeks ago

    It’s story time at Lashon Academy Charter School, and Hebrew teacher Ravit Shemesh is reading a Hebrew-language picture book about a grandmother to a group of students sitting at her feet on the classroom’s carpet. Among them is Veer Joshi, a non-Jewish Indian student.

    Ei-fo...

  • Moving and shaking: Aish gala, ‘Mad Mensch’ at IKAR and more

    3 weeks ago

    The glitzy 35th annual Aish Los Angeles gala, held on May 20 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, spotlighted the organization’s mission of connecting Jews to Judaism while drawing a crowd of 950 people.

    Richard Sandler, executive vice president of the Milken Family Foundation and...

  • Authentic people person

    3 weeks ago

    Jacob Shulman, 18
    El Camino Real Charter
    Gap year: Conservative Yeshiva in Israel

    As president of Shomrei Torah Synagogue’s chapter of United Synagogue Youth (USY), Jacob Shulman has learned that leadership requires one of the hardest skills in life: working with people.

    ...
  • A team player and leader

    3 weeks ago

    Elizabeth Byrnes-Mandelbaum, 17
    Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences
    Going to: Duke University

    Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences senior Elizabeth Byrnes-Mandelbaum’s high school career has been filled with academic highs, athletic accomplishments and extracurricular...

  • The passion of Powell

    3 weeks ago

    New Community Jewish High School (NCJHS) is getting a new name on July 1, becoming de Toledo High School in honor of a gift its namesake family provided last year.

    Some have called the donation of an undisclosed amount from Philip and Alyce de Toledo of Sherman Oaks a...

  • Moving and shaking: AFHU award dinner, TRZ Yom HaShoah event and fire safety at B’nai David-Judea

    June 3, 2015 | 5:19 pm

    New Community Jewish High School (NCJHS) celebrated its upcoming name-change to de Toledo High School — which goes into effect July 1 — during the school’s annual gala at the Skirball Cultural Center on May 17. 

    The event honored members of the de Toledo family: Alyce and Philip...

  • Moving and Shaking: Harriet Rossetto, AJWS, TCRF and Israel Advocacy

    May 29, 2015 | 5:05 pm

    Harriet Rossetto, the founder and executive vice president of Beit T’Shuvah, a residential treatment center and educational institution in Culver City, has been named a 2015 Advocate for Action by the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

    ONDCP Director...

  • Family’s link to VBS is all relative

    May 29, 2015 | 3:34 pm

    Sometimes the old adage really is true: The family that prays together stays together. The Braun family, whom Valley Beth Shalom is honoring at its June 7 “Living Our Legacy: Celebrating the Best of Valley Beth Shalom” ceremony, is a family whose relationship with VBS spans five...

  • ADL hosts discussion on coming out and fitting in

    May 28, 2015 | 5:13 pm

    Wearing a suit and tie and sporting a beard and a closely cropped haircut, Seth Marnin explained at an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) panel discussion that people are often startled to learn he was once a woman. 

    A transgender Jew, Marnin recalled confusing an acquaintance by...

  • Tribute to the man reviving the Breed Street Shul

    May 27, 2015 | 9:49 am

    Stephen Sass wiped tears from his eyes as he took the stage May 17 to receive an award recognizing his leadership toward the renovation of the century-old Breed Street Shul in Boyle Heights. 

    Although his work over about the past 15 years has been tough going at times, he said...

  • Moving and Shaking: Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival, David Myers and Richard Sandler

    May 21, 2015 | 5:34 pm

    A red carpet ceremony and a screening of “The Outrageous Sophie Tucker” kicked off the 10th annual Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival (LAJFF) on April 30 at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. 

    The opening gala, which drew approximately 700 people, was just the beginning of a week...

  • Moving and Shaking: Amos Oz, Ari Shavit, Natalie Portman and Cantor Yonah Kliger

    May 14, 2015 | 5:49 pm

    “I love Israel even at moments I cannot stand it.”

    Israeli author Amos Oz has complicated feelings about the Holy Land, and he wasn’t afraid to share them during a conversation with journalist Ari Shavit at a recent gala celebrating the fifth anniversary of the UCLA Younes and...

  • Meeting of the Minds at Annual Milken Conference

    May 8, 2015 | 12:22 am

    Jon Medved, CEO of the Israeli crowd-funding venture OurCrowd, looked out upon a prestigious gathering at the 2015 Milken Institute Global Conference on April 29 and declared 2014 “the year of the Israel IPO.”

    As part of a session called “Beyond Start-Up Nation: Israel’s Growth...

  • Moving and Shaking: Dead Sea Scrolls, Yom HaAtzmaut and The Women’s Guild

    April 30, 2015 | 7:53 am

    Blue tablecloths decorated tables, Israeli music played, and Hebrew-speaking security personnel were on guard as the local Israeli consulate held an upbeat Yom HaAtzmaut celebration at the California Science Center on April 23.

    The crowd of 500 mixed and mingled, enjoying food...

  • Nepal: How you can help

    April 27, 2015 | 1:53 pm

    Jews in Israel and abroad are responding to the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25 —resulting in the death of more than 4,000 Nepalese people — through action and financial campaigns.

    “The people of Nepal are in desperate need right now,” American Jewish Joint...

  • Yom HaShoah commemorations draw thousands to Pan Pacific park

    April 23, 2015 | 4:05 am

    Two events recalling past genocides — and promising to fight against future ones — drew thousands of people to Pan Pacific Park on April 19.

    The first event, Jewish World Watch’s (JWW) annual Walk to End Genocide, began with drumming and song and the sounds of the shofar, which...

  • Recalling the Nazis Next Door

    April 23, 2015 | 4:01 am

    As author and journalist Eric Lichtblau delivered remarks during an April 20 Yom HaShoah program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, photographs of the unimaginable appeared on a slide show behind him: ex-Nazis who were provided safe haven by the United States during the Cold War.

    ...
  • Moving and Shaking: Temple Israel of Hollywood Cantor, Great Minds Gala, and Mimouna celebration

    April 23, 2015 | 3:13 am

    Temple Israel of Hollywood (TIOH) has announced that cantor and music director Danny Maseng will be leaving the congregation this summer. Maseng took over at the synagogue in 2008 upon the retirement of longtime Cantor Aviva Rosenbloom, making him just the third full-time cantor in...

  • Shoah commemoration brings both high and heavy spirits to Pan Pacific

    April 20, 2015 | 7:04 pm

    Two events recalling past genocides — and promising to fight against future ones — drew thousands of people to Pan Pacific Park on April 19.

    The first event, Jewish World Watch’s (JWW) annual Walk to End Genocide, began with drumming and song and the sounds of the shofar, which...

  • Moving and Shaking: AFHU award dinner, TRZ Yom HaShoah event and fire safety at B’nai David-Judea

    April 17, 2015 | 5:04 pm

    American Friends of The Hebrew University’s (AFHU award ) Harvey L. Silbert Torch of Learning Award Dinner on April 13 honored attorneys Jonathan Anschell and Dick Volpert while raising more than $1 million to support the prominent Israeli university.

    “Hebrew University is a...

  • Stanford student’s impassioned op-ed says she was unfairly questioned during endorsement interview

    April 14, 2015 | 4:55 pm

    The Stanford Daily on April 13 ran an op-ed by Molly Horwitz, a Stanford University junior, titled, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me?” in which she gives her account of events that transpired on March 13 when, she says, the Students of Color Coalition asked her, a...

  • Drake and Madonna share kiss at Coachella

    April 13, 2015 | 9:54 am

    Last night, April 12, Madonna showed up as a surprise guest during Drake's Coachella Valley Music and Arts performance, which closed out the annual, three-day Indio, CA music festival, and she planted a kiss on the Jewish rapper while performing her 2005 song, "Hung Up," Rolling...

  • Clergy march to LAPD headquarters, City Hall to protest skid row killing

    April 9, 2015 | 4:59 pm

    On April 8, group of local Jewish and African-American leaders spotlighted the increase in police-involved deadly shootings in areas such as Skid Row during a press conference outside the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) headquarters.

    “We wanted to reinforce that the Jewish...

  • Moving and shaking: Pioneer Women Award, The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and more

    April 9, 2015 | 10:34 am

    The Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women honored Molly Forrest, CEO and president of the Los Angeles Jewish Home, with the Pioneer Women Award during a ceremony March 27 at Los Angeles City Hall.

    The award spotlights those who work to advance the welfare of women and...

  • Tradition meets Hollywood at annual Spago Seder

    April 8, 2015 | 1:43 pm

    Actress Lainie Kazan, restaurateur Barbara Lazaroff and singer Melissa Manchester lit candles on the evening of April 4 at Spago Beverly Hills, prompting Claudia Cagan, a Hollywood producer and Manchester’s sibling, to wax nostalgic for a moment.

    “My mother used to do that and...

  • Moving and Shaking: Jeffrey Katzenberg, Harvey Weinstein, Rabbi David Wolpe and more

    April 2, 2015 | 7:32 pm

    As the night’s master of ceremonies at the Simon Wiesenthal Center/Museum of Tolerance annual national tribute dinner, Jeffrey Katzenberg had two big jobs — to keep the presentations to heroes who’d risked their lives to save others moving along like clockwork and to convince the...

  • How the wicked son became wise: a Passover parable

    April 2, 2015 | 6:43 pm

    I’ve spent too many Passovers to count preoccupied with the two choices: the wise son or the wicked son. Was I wise, or was I wicked — hacham or rasha? Wanting desperately to be the wise son, in my heart, in my kishkes, I always knew that I was more wicked than wise. 

    After all,...

  • Parents Circle members united by universal love and pain

    April 1, 2015 | 2:43 pm

    Robi Damelin didn’t know what to do when her 28-year-old son David was killed by Palestinian sniper fire in 2002 while serving in the Israel Defense Forces’ reserves.

    “My whole life changed, [as did] my sense of priorities,” Damelin told a group at IKAR during Shabbat morning...

  • JFS expands its own heart in the heart of L.A.

    April 1, 2015 | 2:30 pm

    Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles (JFS) is in the midst of what leadership is describing as a “new era,” a $36 million capital campaign that will result in the renovation of its Freda Mohr Multipurpose Center and the relocation of its headquarters there.

    JFS plans to take the...

  • Just released ADL audit shows significant increase in anti-Semitic incidents

    March 30, 2015 | 5:16 pm

    One Shabbat this past August, Jewish comedian Elon Gold was walking with his family when they were confronted by a Middle Eastern-looking man who harassed them and shouted, “I hope your children die! Just like you are killing children in Gaza!”

    This local incident was one of many...

  • Moving and shaking: Combating hate, Friendship Circle and more

    March 26, 2015 | 1:14 pm

    The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) honored three individuals and two law enforcement groups at its annual Helene & Joseph Sherwood Prize for Combating Hate luncheon and award ceremony March 10 at the Skirball Cultural Center.

    Selected for individual honors for their efforts to...

  • LGBT Persian Jews live in changing times

    March 26, 2015 | 1:08 pm

    Although attitudes are becoming increasingly accepting toward homosexuality in the Jewish community, prejudices remain in the typically more conservative Persian community. To help bridge the gap, JQ International — a nonprofit, Los Angeles-based organization dedicated to...

  • What is SEDER2015?

    March 25, 2015 | 10:26 am

    Passover is the most family-oriented of the Jewish holidays, the ultimate dinner party, the Thanksgiving of the Jewish community. 

    That is the belief, anyway, of Michael Hebb, creator of Seder2015, an interactive smorgasbord of Passover-related audio clips of famous thinkers...

  • Celebrate World Water Day on March 22

    March 18, 2015 | 5:50 pm

  • Moving and shaking: USHMM’s annual Los Angeles dinner, Sally Drucker turns 100 and more

    March 18, 2015 | 4:22 pm

    Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s (USHMM) annual Los Angeles dinner was themed “What You Do Matters.” 

    Actor Gary Sinese honored the liberators and survivors present at the March 16...

  • Moving and shaking: Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters, AFKMC and more

    March 12, 2015 | 10:18 am

    Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles (JBBBSLA) celebrated its centennial and the renaming of its nonsectarian Camp Max Straus during a Feb. 21 event at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel that drew more than 700 attendees and raised $760,000 for the mentoring...

  • Moving and shaking: The Dead Sea Scrolls, JQ International, JIMENA and more

    March 11, 2015 | 12:21 pm

    “Dead Sea Scrolls: The Exhibition” represents not only “the birth of modern Judaism but also of Christianity … and later, Islam. … So we’re really celebrating the Abrahamic traditions and monotheistic religions,” explained David Siegel, the consul general of Israel in Los Angeles,...

  • A plethora of Purim parties

    March 11, 2015 | 9:33 am

    Never in a million years did I think I’d be spending Purim pedaling away on a stationary bicycle, dressed as Indiana Jones, in order to power a DJ playing “Bubble Butt” by Major Lazer.

    But that’s what I did recently at IKAR. 

    There were parties all over town last week as the...

  • Food: The great uniter

    March 10, 2015 | 5:56 pm

    Several Muslim and Jewish students are working with UC San Diego leadership toward opening a dining hall that offers kosher and halal hot food options. 

    In so doing, the school will become the first campus in the University of California system to have this kind of a dining hall,...

  • People come together for MLK-inspired Big Sunday video

    March 3, 2015 | 5:06 pm

    In honor of 2015 Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Big Sunday held a community service project on Jan. 19. One day prior, on Jan. 18, Temple Israel of Hollywood, a partner of Big Sunday, held a musical concert event at its Hollywood campus marking 50 years since King delivered a sermon there.

    Big Sunday just released a video, entitled, “Something in Common,” that captures how those two days brought people of all backgrounds together.

    Check it out.

  • Moving and shaking: Times of Israel gala, Nostre Aetate anniversary and ROSIES

    February 26, 2015 | 2:34 pm

    American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) has launched the Max Steinberg Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund in memory of the lone soldier from Woodland Hills who was killed last summer during Israel’s war in Gaza.

    Lone soldiers are members of the Israel...

  • Raising financially sensible kids

    February 25, 2015 | 3:16 pm

    Spoiled children are made, not born — and there’s something you can do about that. 

    That’s the message of New York Times “Your Money” columnist Ron Lieber’s new book, “The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who are Grounded, Generous and Smart about Money.” The 43-year-old’s...

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